Those of you who remember the movie Matrix, maybe also remember agent Smith’s ‘gestapolike’ interrogation of Morpheus. At one moment the agent (as a machine growing humans for energy, and maintaining them in life by creating unrealistic pictures in their mind about the world they live in, to be more exact in the year 2000 of this era) is saying to Morpheus: ''Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world, where none suffered, where everyone would be happy? It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering…
… I would like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until all the natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to a new area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are the cure (machines)…''
Ha-ha, you will say. Our pathetic state has been poetically described here by the SF movie. But is it just an artistic fiction or reality? Let us consider what the Vedas, the oldest sacred text on the planet, prophetically say. One of the texts (Srimad-Bhagavatam, which has also been translated into Croatian) predicts the age that we are now living in, called Kali-yuga. It is the time of cheating, hypocrisy, quarrel and general human degradation. Did people in old times use to be more advanced and started degrading gradually? We can let Mr. Semir Osmanagić prove that by his digging of the Bosnian pyramids. But according to what the ancient texts are saying and what is at the same time being proven by the 1000 years old excavations, and what Michael Kremo’s book Forbidden archeology describes as taboo among the scientists, people used to be more advanced. And that is civilizationally, economically, spiritually, ethically… in all respects.
By watching any of the documentary movies about the sea world, the exploitation of animals in concentration camps, about cutting down forests, climate changes… one can conclude that the machines from Matrix are right. We have become a diseased planet. Or, as s distinguished inhabitant of Split, prof. dr. sc. Nikola Visković says: ''Man is a dangerous species, the wildest and most dangerous animal of all…'' Maxim Gorky said: ''Man – how proud that sounds! Today no one would anymore say such a naivete. Man – how dangerous that is, a technological animal…''
We do not need to wonder whether the Vedas speak the truth about the degraded present age of Kali or whether the pyramids truly used to give pure Sun energy without putting anything else in jeopardy (sustainable development). Let us take a look into our near past. Let us study the behavior patterns before and now. For example, in the First World War the main casualties were soldiers, and civilians made up only a small percentage. The Second World War brings us concentration camps and weapons for mass destruction, such as atom bombs intended solely for killing civilians. We are not going to describe now the Vedic warfare some ten millenniums ago, where it was outside of code of ethics to attack a soldier who fell down from a carriage, who had his back turned, who was of a lower rank and the like.
We can observe, in some small things, the degradation which we are experiencing and the changes occurring at our own door step. As if not aware of the situation, we are considering it as normal and totally acceptable. For example, the football club Hajduk used to be treated with love and it was as such presented poetically all over Dalmatia. ALL THE LOVE I HAD, I GAVE IT TO YOU… But today, that love is more and more often being replaced with photos of violence and hatred or with inscriptions as the one on the photograph below.
Do not think that this is an isolated case. Many neighborhoods have drawings (we must admit that they are done very nicely and artistically) and graffiti featuring hooligans with masks over their faces proudly lighting up trash bins or throwing lit bottles, all of it being signed by the fans of some sports club. Where have the love verses disappeared from the graffiti? It is interesting how people do not react to these things, because all degrading changes come slowly and we get used to them without any reaction. In his film about global warming, Al Gore compares that effect with the effect of warming up the frog. If we throw a frog into hot water it automatically jumps out. But, if the frog is inside the water which is being heated gradually – degree by degree – it stays there until its death, until it is cooked alive.
Regarding future change, obviously for worse, we can either stick our heads into the sand, pretending it has nothing to do with us and peacefully wait to get cooked alive, or we can still summon up the strength and do something. The question is what can be done against big corporations, governments and general ignorance of people? Well, we will let a great world spiritual teacher and leader, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, give the answer. He repeatedly said: ''This world lacks nothing, but CONSCIOUSNESS. Making people conscious can greatly change everything.'' It is currently being done by many non-governmental organizations in the world and the results have surely not ‘fallen from the sky’. Many laws on animal rights, forests, human rights… have been changed thanks to the work of seemingly small, but powerful non-governmental organizations. For example, in the United States the government has bought off the concession for cutting redwood for a huge amount of money.
Those trees could continue to give evidence of the events which took place on the planet 5.000 years ago, instead of them being cut down. One part has been protected as national park. The organization ‘Prijatelji životinja’ (Animal friends) in Croatia ''carved out'' the law on the banning of cruel animal circuses. Green organizations activists have influenced the changes of the laws on environment, garbage, industry… So, there is hope, but humanity needs to wake up. Even if we are conscious that something is ''off'' and we know the cure for change, but we are not doing anything, than it is, as Karl Marx says, the poverty of philosophy. The inability of philosophy to change the existence of man. The inability for the philosophy to turn into action…
But, believe me, it has never been easier to influence the changes with so little change in our own life.
Just be careful what you eat, organize your life in vegetarianism and the planet will thank you. Let us not be viruses, let us be people, we can do it, let us prove we can…
Come to Vegehop and let us change the world together.
Dalibor Marić, executive